Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mature Bushes

While I am as much a fan of new roses as the next person, I love to see big, mature, old rose bushes.  Mature roses offer so much that their younger siblings can not.  A young bush can not overwhelm you with thousands of blooms.  A young rose is more susceptible to draught lacking the developed root system of a mature bush.  And while we all love to see new basel breaks sending out strong new shoots of growth, it is the strong woody growth that can support the explosive displays of spring.
This old growth wood often looks very different from the green wood of new growth.  As this older wood continues to build rings of growth just like a tree, its outer skin breaks with the expansion and develops bark while looses its thorns and looks like what we often think of as a tree.  You can see this on my mother's mature plant of Buff Beauty.  Without support Buff Beauty becomes a broad spreading plant but with support it easily grows as a climber.  Pictured here is Buff Beauty after the arch it had grown on for over a decade had fallen and after it had lost almost half its growth from the collapse.
The canopy created by this mature bush of the Hybrid Musk, Buff Beauty is breathtaking to sit under when in full bloom.  If it were not for the strong, older, mature growth underneath it could never reach these heights.  New breaks of growth will develop at the top of such mature wood while the lower portions will seem rather bare even loosing its thorns.  Sitting here, under the filtered light and overwhelmed by its heavy fragrance one can become lost to the world.
This final shot serves as the backdrop for my blog.  I love its heavy wood and light flowers.  I thing we have done a disservice to would be rose growers when they have been told for years to trim their roses back in the spring.  Too often they trim them back and miss the real beauty these bushes can give.  One of the first pieces of advice I often give an aspiring rose grower is to stop trimming their roses and let them grow out to their nature size.  Too often we have tried to work against the nature of these beautiful roses to their detriment and our own.